Over the last five months we have been gradually eliminating our power hogs and growing our power generation capabilities. As long as it is not rainy for days on end, we can run the boat at anchor without any fossil fuels indefinitely with just 190W of solar and two deep cycle lead acid batteries.
Our last big power hog is the laptop, which on our boat is essential because it is the income generator. There is some really good information on the Internet about laptop power usage. Here is a great article:
And a more scientific one:
In short, if you are using your laptop (as opposed to letting it idle with the screen on) then then biggest battery killer is the CPU.
I already use a DC to DC power supply so the best way for me to extend my battery life is to throttle the CPU. To do this I simply go into my power settings and change the maximum processor state to 50%.
So why is Haswell going to change my life? The energy efficiency of CPUs in laptops has not been significantly improved in several years. Haswell is the code name of a new processor from Intel that cuts energy consumption by 50%.
The first Haswell laptops are being released now. There should be a good range of Haswell based laptops on the market by the holiday shopping season. I am hoping buying a Haswell based laptop is going to change my life!